CHILE – Nestlé has inaugurated a new Research & Development (R&D) Center in Santiago, Chile, for zone Latin America to innovate for and with consumers in the region.

The center hosts a co-working space, a kitchen for rapid prototyping and bench-scale laboratories.

It will also be a new regional Nestlé R+D Accelerator, where the company’s intrapreneurs in Latin America can develop exciting product concepts and test them in a retail environment in only six months.

According to the Swiss conglomerate, the center will leverage the company’s global science and technology capabilities and will also strengthen its collaborations with universities, start-ups, and entrepreneurs across Latin America in a new and agile way, providing them access to the company’s global and local R&D expertise and infrastructure.

Around 30 R&D employees will work across several product categories, with a strong focus on strategic areas such as great-tasting plant-based foods, solutions for affordable nutrition, nutritious and sustainable dairy products, high-quality chocolate products and biscuits, and great coffee innovations.

The proximity to consumers, Nestlé’s commercial teams and production facilities in Latin America will enable the development of tasty, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable products that are highly relevant to local consumers, Laurent Freixe, Nestlé CEO of Zone Latin America said.

He added: “The opening of this world-class Research and Development center in Santiago is a strong signal of Nestlé’s commitment to Latin America after more than 100 years of presence in the region. Nestlé continues to invest and expand its footprint, now in the area of science and technology, to bring innovative food and beverage solutions adapted to the lifestyle and needs of Latin American families.”

This new R&D center builds on Nestlé’s longstanding presence in Chile, which already includes a dedicated R&D team for biscuits in Santiago, Chile.

Strengthening its innovation capabilities, Nestlé says it invests about CHF 1.7 billion in its global Research and Development network, which consists of 23 locations around the world.

Recent innovations in the Latin America region also include the launch of the next-generation coffee systems with paper-based home compostable capsules for Nescafé Dolce Gusto Neo in Brazil.

The company is also piloting a new concept for great-tasting, nutritious and affordable plant-based protein blends under the Malher brand in Guatemala.

Last year, Nestlé plant scientists announced the discovery of low-carbon coffee varieties having up to 50% higher yields that are being grown first by farmers in Central America in the frame of the Nescafé Plan.

Nestlé plans to plant 10 million trees in Australia by 2025

Meanwhile, Nestlé has announced that it aims to plant 10 million trees of native species in Australia by 2025 at the COP27 Biodiversity Day in partnership with Greening Australia, Canopy, and One Tree Planted.

The new sustainability project is part of Nestlé’s Global Reforestation Program, which aims to plant and grow 200 million trees by 2030.

Additionally, it expands the company’s actions to scale up regenerative agriculture and deploy natural climate solutions to absorb greenhouse gases, contributing to its net zero targets by 2050.

The trees will be planted in locations linked to regional areas where Nestlé sources raw materials and will be registered by Greening Australia’s environmental markets business, Canopy, for carbon credits with Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator.

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